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When we take this step a new range of opportunities open up for us – the most obvious is the Dharma Training Course for Mitras, and there are also many other Mitra events and retreats at centres, and around the Triratna Buddhist Community. When people with a certain level of experience and engagement come together they can go further than is possible in situations that are open to all comers, because a solid foundation can be taken for granted. And when people of a certain level of commitment come together they can inspire each other, like smouldering pieces of wood that, when brought together, blaze into a fire that is greater than its individual parts. For all these reasons, Mitra activities like the Dharma Training Course allow us to enter a new and deeper phase in our spiritual progress. the three declarations To help you (and us!) to think clearly about whether you are ready to become a Mitra, we ask you to consider whether you can honestly make three ‘declarations’. The origin of the word ‘declaration’ has to do with ‘making clear’, and deciding that you can (or cannot) make these three declarations makes it clear where you stand, both to yourself and to others. The three declarations are: 1. “I feel that I am a Buddhist.” 2. “I am trying to practise the Five Precepts.”